Logi­ques du négatif, part 3

7. May 2024

Traces et empreints dans l’art du Moyen-Âge et des temps moderns

Follo­wing meetings at the Univer­sité Catho­lique de Louvain and at the Humboldt-Univer­sität in Berlin, the group Logiques du négatif will be holding a third sympo­sium at the Univer­sity of Fribourg on 15–16 May, 2024.

The aim of this inter­na­tional confe­rence is to examine the pheno­mena of the trace and the imprint in their rela­ti­onship to the history of art in the medieval/Early Modern and the modern period. The sympo­sium will contri­bute to the acti­vi­ties of the project Logi­ques du négatif: Tech­ni­ques et méta­phores de l’em­preinte, spon­sored by the Early Modern Profes­sor­ship of the Humboldt-Univer­sität zu Berlin and the Univer­sité Catho­lique de Louvain, with the support of the Fritz-Thyssen Stif­tung and with the invol­vement of the Dépar­te­ment d’histoire de l’art et d’archéologie at the Univer­sity of Fribourg.

The aim of this multi-year project, which began in 2022, is to explore the prac­tices and theory of the imprint, with the aim of crea­ting a new frame­work for addres­sing its many facets (artistic, anthro­po­lo­gical, philo­so­phical) and its trans­cul­tural and trans­his­to­rical dimen­sions. From prehis­toric hand prints to modern prin­ting tech­ni­ques such as prin­ting and engra­ving, from prac­tices of docu­men­ta­tion such as rubbing (which was wide­spread in impe­rial China and early modern Britain), to tech­no­lo­gies of indus­trial produc­tion, many tech­ni­ques are based upon imprint. At the same time, imprints have aesthetic, epis­te­mo­lo­gical, philo­so­phical, and semiotic dimen­sions of great importance. The “logic of the nega­tive” — from wax to seal, from cast to mould, from matrix to print — carries with it the enigma of filia­tion, of the trans­mis­sion of a physical and visual resem­blance to another object, of which the imprint consti­tutes the memory. In turn, the trace is situated at the cross­roads of discourses concer­ning simi­la­rity, repre­sen­ta­tion, and the cons­truc­tion of know­ledge and of tempo­ra­li­ties. By studying the tech­ni­ques, products, repre­sen­ta­tions, and meta­phors of the imprint and the trace, in their simi­la­ri­ties as well as in their diver­gences, this group hopes to gain a better under­stan­ding of the concep­tual and prac­tical connec­tions between tech­ni­ques, know­ledge, and meaning.

The Fribourg sympo­sium will explore the complex rela­ti­onship between imprint and trace, and their meta­pho­rical imagi­nings. How does early modern Western culture thema­tise the notion of trace in rela­tion to that of imprint? What role did Chris­tia­nity and the recep­tion of clas­sical anti­quity during the Renais­sance play in this process? How do artistic media such as textiles, pain­ting and engra­ving give shape to the imagi­nary trace and its privi­leged place within histo­rical discourse?


Wednesday 15 May, Univer­sity of Fribourg, Site de Misé­ri­corde Salle Jäggi (4112)

10.00 – 10.30 Intro­duc­tion Jérémie Koering (UniFR) Stefano de Bosio (FUBiS)

Session 1 Traces et dévo­tion (I), chaired by Ralph Deko­ninck (UCLou­vain)

10.30 – 11.15 Alex­andre Varela Expó­sito (UniFR) De l’Arche de Noé au Sayfo : Trace, mémoire, écri­ture et oralité en monde syriaque

11.30 – 12.15 Finbarr Barry Flood (NYU) From Relic to Print : Tracing the Sandal of the Prophet Muhammad

Session 2 Traces et dévo­tion (II)

14.00 – 14.45 Michele Bacci (UniFR) L’expérience des traces du Christ sur le sol de Jérusalem

14.45 – 15.30 Stefano de Bosio (FUBiS) Les traces d’un reflet : Enjeux médiales des enseignes de pèle­ri­nage à miroir

16.00 – 17.30 Table ronde, Sur quel­ques traces singu­lières (images choisies)

Mode­ra­tion: Stefano de Bosio (FUBiS)

Inter­ven­tions: Dominic-Alain Boariu (UniFR) Ralph Deko­ninck (UCLou­vain) Kath­leen Chris­tian (HU Berlin) Jérémie Koering (UniFR)

Thursday 16 May, Site de Misé­ri­corde, Salle de cinéma (2029)

Session 3 Traces, temps et espace, chaired by Jérémie Koering (UniFR)

10.00 – 10.45 Ambre Vilain (Univer­sité de Nantes) La trace et le signe : les empreintes digi­tales sur les sceaux au Moyen Âge

10.45 – 11.30 Chiara Fran­ce­schini (LMU) Ont-elles laissé des traces ? Femmes artistes et leurs « empreintes »

11.45 – 12.30 Kalinka Janowski (UniFR) Les lieux de l’histoire natu­relle : sur les traces des envi­ron­ne­ments gravés (XVIIe – XVIIIe siècles)

12.30 – 13.00 Final discussion